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In the 1960s, a small team of innovators gathered on a stunning sweep of land overlooking the California coast. They envisioned a new and different kind of university—one that could reinvent public higher education in the United States. Through this oral history of the University of California, Santa Cruz, we hear first-person accounts of the campus’s evolution, from the origins of an audacious dream through the sea changes of five decades. More than two hundred narrators and a trove of archival images contribute to this dynamic, nuanced account. Today, UC Santa Cruz is a leading research university with experimental roots. This is the story of what was learned, what was lost, and what has grown along the way.

The photos, oral history clips, posters, and other archival objects featured in this digital exhibit supplement the printed book Seeds of Something Different: An Oral History of the University of California, Santa Cruz, edited and published by the UCSC Library's Regional History Project. This site also serves as a gateway to the rich archival collections available to the interested researcher at the Library's Special Collections & Archives and beyond. The site includes a link through which those who want to contribute stories, photos, and other archival material documenting UCSC's history may submit those materials for curation.

SEEDS OF SOMETHING DIFFERENT is available through Bookshop Santa Cruz and Bay Tree Bookstore (at UCSC). Order your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and have it shipped to you directly or pick up curbside. Bay Tree Bookstore is currently shipping as well, during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Additionally, you can buy the ebook version (each volume is $9.99) through Amazon: Volume I  Volume 2

Seeds is also available as an ebook from Barnes and Noble,  Kobo, and most other ebook vendors.

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Click here to contribute stories, photos, and other archival material documenting UCSC's history.

Please note that the system will ask that you to register before you can submit a contribution. The registration is quick and the account form only requires a username and an email address. Please include your name; nature of UCSC affiliation (if an alum/former student, year/degree, or years attended; if faculty or staff, unit & position; year when the narrative is set). If you are contributing a photo, if possible please note the date the photo was taken, the name of the photographer, and any additional information that might help put the photo in a meaningful context. For non-photo images such as posters and flyers, please supply whatever information you can about the image’s context. Thank you!